Flyin’ preparing for MLK holiday takeoff


Sunrise Christian Academy wanted in the Good Samaritan Flyin’ to the Hoop. No problem, reasoned founder Eric Horstman. But budget restraints would mean the emerging national prep school power from Wichita, Kan., would have to endure an exhausting drive to Kettering in potentially weather-challenged mid-January.

That’s OK with Thurgood Marshall High School boys basketball head coach Darnell Hoskins, whose Cougars are matched against Sunrise.

“We’ll hit ’em when they get off the bus,” said Hoskins, just one of many area coaches who attended Tuesday’s press conference at Good Samaritan North to announce the 2014 Flyin schedule during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend.

Horstman’s inspiration has blossomed into the 12th annual event, which will be at Kettering’s Trent Arena for the third straight year from Jan. 17-20.

Thirty-seven teams, consisting of local, Ohio and national high school and prep school powers, will play 22 games over the four days.

It’s hyped as the second-most prestigious event of its kind in the nation, according to CBS Sports/MaxPreps. It hasn’t hurt that the No. 1 picks in each of the last two NBA drafts are Flyin’ alums: Anthony Davis (Hornets, 2012) and Anthony Bennett (Cavaliers, 2013).

Yet another Flyin’ headliner, Andrew Wiggins, a University of Kansas freshman, is favored to be the top pick in the 2014 draft.

Those kinds of five-star players matched up against many of the area’s best programs has proven to be a consistently winning combination. City of Kettering officials estimate that the event is worth $1.9 million annually to the area and attracts 15,000-20,000 spectators.

“My blood pressure goes up 10 points (Tuesday) and it doesn’t go down until after the event is over,” Horstman said.

“We always try and tell people that we’re trying to get local teams the chance to get on a national spotlight that they might not otherwise get a chance to do. That’s the whole goal each year and that’s why we try and get this bigger and bigger.”

Franklin, featuring standout junior Luke Kennard, landed a rematch with Homeschool Christian Youth Association (Houston) and its standout Justin Jackson, a verbal commit to North Carolina. Kennard scored 32 points in a 79-65 win last season.

“I’m glad I have the opportunity to come back,” Kennard said. “It’s a great tournament and first class. I love being a part of it and I’m glad that I have the opportunity to play against a great player like Justin Jackson.”

Wayne drew likely consensus nationally top-ranked Findlay Prep of Nevada in the two-game opening nightcap. Stivers and new coach Shawn McCullough will play Miamisburg in Game 1 of Friday’s doubleheader.

Other expected nationally ranked teams that will attend are Huntington Prep (W.Va.), Prime Prep (Texas) and Roselle Catholic (N.J.).

Other area teams that will join the Flyin’ field are Lakota East, Chaminade Julienne, Franklin, Dunbar, Centerville, Versailles, Beavercreek, Trotwood-Madison and host Fairmont.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Dragons continue to have West Michigan’s number
Dragons continue to have West Michigan’s number

West Michigan may have the Midwest League’s best record, but you couldn’t blame the Whitecaps if a little doubt started to set in. Dayton pitchers Scott Moss and Tony Santillan would be the reason, because it’s likely they’ll face the Whitecaps in the first two games of the MWL playoffs, which begin at Fifth Third Field on Sept...
Ervin, Votto lead the way as Reds hold off Cubs
Ervin, Votto lead the way as Reds hold off Cubs

Phillip Ervin may be a late-bloomer, but the Cincinnati outfielder has arrived in the majors with bang. Ervin hit a two-run homer to snap a tie in the seventh inning and had four RBIs in his first major league start as the Reds rebounded from blowing a nine-run lead to defeat the Chicago Cubs 13-10 on Thursday. Ervin, in right field in his fifth game...
NBA champion Durant doesn’t ‘respect’ Donald Trump, won’t go to White House if invited
NBA champion Durant doesn’t ‘respect’ Donald Trump, won’t go to White House if invited

NBA champion Kevin Durant says he will not visit President Donald Trump at the White House if the Golden State Warriors are invited, according to a story on ESPN. "Nah, I won't do that," Durant, the 2017 NBA Finals MVP, told ESPN Thursday. "I don't respect who's in office right now." The White House has not officially extended...
High School Football: Graham next success story on coach’s list
High School Football: Graham next success story on coach’s list

In his football career, both playing and coaching, Shane Cahill has experienced success at every level. Cahill, 26, played on three regional finalist teams at West Jefferson High School. He was an all-conference linebacker at Urbana University, helping the Blue Knights to the most wins in program history in a four-year span (26). And the last three...
High school football games on radio, TV, internet
High school football games on radio, TV, internet

The following are area high school football games that will be aired on radio, TV and/or the internet. If your station or webcast isn’t listed, email your information and schedule to sports@coxohio.com. Thu. Aug. 24: Alter at Fairmont Thu. Aug. 31: Xenia at Troy Thu. Sept. 7: Bellbrook at Tecumseh Thu. Sept. 14: Lebanon at Beavercreek Thu. Sept...
More Stories